STUDIO CITY (CBSLA)  — The ninth annual Stephanie’s Day was held Saturday on the CBS Radford lot in Studio City.

CBS2/KCAL9T’s Jasmine Viel reported that thousands of people came from all over the Southland.

“We drove an hour-and-a-half just to come to this today,” said Silas Kerns.

The lot was filled for the special day — a resource fair for families impacted by autism and other special needs.

Aderix Campos, 15, was among the crowd. He says Stephanie’s Day is a place where he can be himself and feel welcomed.

“I really do think it’s an amazing event,” Campos said, “Because it really lets people be whatever they want. Because people really do get bullied on how they act. Like people with ADHD autism. They don’t get treated the same as like normal people.”

Campos was diagnosed with autism when he was 3-years-old.  His story is similar to many others out here today.

“I have a high-functioning autism,” said Ronald De Los Reyes. He drove up from Buena Park.

(credit: CBS)

De Los Reyes added, “Well, this Stephanie’s Day event is so very  fun. And I like it.”

It’s a day and place for parents to connect and discover new and unique educational tools.

“We don’t have anything like this in South Orange County where we live,” says Kerns, “our child has suffered with autism since, I guess, he was diagnosed in elementary school. And we wanted to find a place where there are a lot of resources for him and we found it here.”

Stephanie’s Day was started 20 years ago in Florida by now -retired CBS2/KCAL9 president and general manager Steve Mauldin.

Despite his retirement he says he hopes tthe event will continue.

“There is such a need for this,” Mauldin says, “It gets bigger every year. And we will continue this as long as we can.”

It’s pretty clear Kerns will be back.

“If you hadn’t come to this,” he says, “you gotta come next year. Cause there’s a lot of connections here. And a lot of people here to help.”

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